|Australia will be named as host of the|
2015 AFC Asian Cup in just 21 days time
It won’t capture the imagination as much as the FIFA World Cup Bid Announcement, in fact there probably wont even be a live announcement on TV and it will only get a passing mention on news bulletins, if it all, but in just 21 days time Australia will be confirmed as the host of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
After the disappointment of missing out on 2022 in humiliating circumstances, most people will skoff and say “big deal”, but it is exactly that. It is a big deal.
Some say we were naïve in going for 2022 and that we needed to prove ourselves as a Football nation. The 2015 AFC Asian Cup provides us with an opportunity to do just that, but perhaps more importantly it will give us a chance to prove we’re an Asian nation.
Despite rising coverage, Australian’s still largely ignore Asian Football and disregard it as ‘second-rate’.
went into the 2007 AFC Asian Cup with largely that attitude. It was presumed we would waltz in and win it at our first attempt without a worry in the world. Australia
We were quickly, and rightly, given a rude shock.
What 2015 will do is showcase the best Asian Football has to offer to this largely uneducated audience. It will, hopefully, break down barriers, remove stereotypes and allow
to embrace Asian Football. Australia
It will, hopefully, also allow Asia to embrace Australia.
There is still apprehension to
joining the AFC from some quarters. We’re not viewed as an Asian nation. Even Mohammed Bin Hammam, the AFC President who played a large part in Australia being accepted into The AFC, still doesn’t really view Australia as an “Asian” nation, as evidenced by his recent comments. Australia
|Frank Lowy & Ben Buckley present Australia's bid for the|
2015 AFC Asian Cup to Mohammed Bin Hammam
Getting full membership of the ASEAN Football Federation and having a team participate in the biennial AFF Cup must be close to top of the agenda for the FFA. It is important politically as well as being important for our football development.
We need our Football powerbrokers to take up key positions within Asian Football and we need to regularly have a member of the AFC Executive Committee.
needing a seat on the FIFA Exco are massively premature, especially when we’re so weak politically in our own region. Let’s first “conquer” Australia Asia before we think about conquering the world.
And that is what the 2015 AFC Asian Cup will help us achieve. By no means will we have “conquered”
Asia by simply hosting the tournament, but we will have gone a long way to improving our standing within the region and our acceptance as an Asian nation – both here and abroad.
That is why hosting the 2015 AFC Asian Cup is a big deal.